Texas Rangers (0-0) at Kansas City Royals (0-0)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 4:10 pm (Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium)
Kyle Gibson (0-0) (0.00) vs. Brad Keller (0-0) (0.00)
The Line: Kansas City Royals -145 / Texas Rangers +134 --- Over/Under: 9.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals meet in Opening Day MLB action from Kauffman Stadium.
The Texas Rangers come into this season looking to shake off the clubs worst winning percentage in 47 years, albeit in a condensed 60-game schedule where the Rangers finished just 22-38 on the year. The Rangers bring a ton back from last year’s roster including Isiah Kiner-Falefa who hit .280 with a team-high 8 stolen bases last season, Joey Gallo is back as the Rangers’ expected source of power but will have to be better than a .181 batting average as one of five Rangers that saw at least 24 games with a batting average under .200. The Rangers made a splash in trying to improve their starting rotation, picking up Dane Dunning and Mike Foltynewicz to bolster the rotation already featuring Jordan Lyles and defacto-ace Kyle Gibson who is expected to start here after going 2-6 with a 5.35 ERA and 58 strikeouts last season. In his career, Gibson is 9-5 with a 3.67 GAA and 100 strikeouts against Kansas City.
The Kansas City Royals will look to take a step back in the right direction after missing the playoffs for a 5th straight season with a 26-34 record in the compacted 60-game schedule. The Royals made some serious moves, prying Carlos Santana from the division-rival Cleveland Indians while also acquiring Michael A. Taylor from the Nationals to bolster the outfield. Andrew Benintendi also comes over to help in the outfield, but there are still familiar faces in KC, with Whit Merrifield, Salvador Perez and Hunter Dozier all still in the fold. Perez led all catchers with 12 doubles as well as leading all AL catchers with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs. Dozier and Merrifield also provide some solid depth and talent to the Royals’ order. The Royals’ pitching rotation got better as well, led by staff ace Brad Keller along with Danny Duffy, Kris Bubic and Brady Singer, the Royals also brought in Mike Minor to shore up the gaps left in the Royals’ pitching lineup. Speaking of Keller, he’s expected to start opening day after going 5-3 with a 2.47 ERA and 35 strikeouts last season. This will be Keller’s second career start against Texas.
Texas is 20-41 in their last 61 games as an underdog and 16-40 in their last 56 road games while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 games against the AL Central. Kansas City is 4-1 in their last 5 games overall and 8-2 in their last 10 home games while the under is 7-2 in their last 9 games overall. Texas is 22-5 in the last 27 meetings between these two teams.
Brad Keller was a pitcher I made my fair share of money on and Kyle Gibson is good to back in spots, but I think Keller is due for a regression this year and Gibson can be the proverbial box of chocolates, where he could throw seven no-hit innings one day and give up five runs in two innings another. I think both offenses come to play on opening day and I think we get at least 10 runs here so give me the over in this one.